A Patient's Story: Kari & Tayegan
When Tayegan was 9 years old, his routine checkup was met with an unexpected result. His white blood cell, red blood cell, and platelet levels were low, and doctors knew immediately something was wrong. Through a series of tests, Tayegan was unexpectedly diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia. “This was never something we saw coming. I had all of Tayegan’s siblings with me and we were ready to have the appointment and to go on with our day,” said Kari, Tayegan’s mother. With aplastic anemia the body is unable to produce enough blood cells to work normally and can cause a weakened immune system, rapid heart rate, low energy, severe bruising, ghostly appearance, and in some cases even death.
Tayegan’s rare condition was controlled through regular weekly or bi-weekly blood transfusions of red blood cells and platelets over the course of ten months. He took this challenge head on and remained strong and brave regardless of what came his way. Throughout the entirety of his treatment, he received more than 50 units of blood products. Fortunately, Tayegan received a successful bone marrow transplant nine months after his initial diagnosis, and after a few final blood transfusions Tayegan began producing healthy blood once again. “We lucked out,” Kari said. “Although it was a hard situation, we were so lucky to have blood products available and to have received a successful transplant.”
“No amount of blood will ever be enough, and we will always have a need. I would encourage anyone who is afraid of needles, scared it will take too much time, to push past that and realize there are more people out there who really need this, and by donating we can save their lives,” said Kari. “These donations gave Tayegan an extra nine months of life, which got him to his bone marrow transplant and we are so thankful.”